The $13.8 billion merger makes the Marriott the largest hotel company in the world. The deal, proposed a year ago, finally went through as China agrees to the merger despite fears of creating a hotel monopoly.
Marriott International has signed a game-changing $13.6 billion deal acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which officially makes it the world’s largest hotel company.
The deal that took over a year to close has flipped the hotel game on its head. When news emerged in 2015 that Marriott was offering $12.2 billion for their acquisition, a rival consortium from China, the Anbang Insurance Group, challenged the deal by offering $14 billion in hopes of preventing a hotel monopoly in China. The competing bid set back negotiation, but on Friday the final obstacle to the merger was overcome as the Chinese Ministry of Commerce signed off on the deal.
By acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Marriott will be taking over all Westin, Sheraton, and Le Meridien hotels, among other Starwood hotels. The Marriott already acquired the Ritz-Carlton from Starwood in 1998, and by purchasing their remaining chains has instantly become the largest hotel operator in the world. The question on everyone’s mind about the deal is whether the Marriott will honour Starwood’s competitive loyalty reward points.
According to Fxnewscall.com, the Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards programme has 55 million members. The Starwood Preferred Guest programme claims 21 million members. At this time, no decision has been made on exactly how the Starwood programme will be honoured but, according to the Marriott official website, details on how to transfer points to their programme will be made available later this week.